Manchester United have high hopes for Kobbie Mainoo, and should be motivated to avoid falling into the same trap as they did with current LOSC Lille midfielder Angel Gomes.
Similar to how Alejandro Garnacho and Mason Greenwood, prior to his suspension, were, Gomes was viewed as a certainty to break through at Old Trafford.
However, an accumulation of things went awry. Whether it was managers not giving him chances, injuries, or just bad luck, Gomes never featured for the side on a consistent basis, and eventually he had enough.
Mainoo and Gomes
Both Gomes and Mainoo are midfielders with the potential for top-level football and Gomes is on his way to establishing himself as a key player for Ligue 1 side Lille.
Mainoo, despite his promising performances in pre-season, has been blocked from playing a competitive minute for the Red Devils this season, owing to the injury he suffered against Real Madrid.
However, the midfielder has been back for a few weeks and has still not been given his chance, either as a starter or off the bench. He has, however, featured in the UEFA Youth League.
United could be cautious about rushing back the 18-year-old. The club has been guilty of rushing back their key players in the past who then went on to suffer more injuries; Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia being the big examples of this. So it’s fair to cut them some slack. But after the international break, there is a hope this will change.
Sooner rather than later, Mainoo needs to receive his chance in the team otherwise he may go down the route of Gomes or another ex-United academy graduate, Paul Pogba.
“When I played with him in the academy I always thought he had similar attributes to Paul Pogba,” Anthony Elanga said on Mainoo. The difference is, we hope Mainoo will stick around to fulfil his potential.
Pogba decided to leave Old Trafford in 2012 for more game time at Juventus, the worry could be that Mainoo may seek to do the same, United need to avoid this nightmare scenario again.
Erik ten Hag’s decision
The hope will be that the midfielder, who is still just a teenager, doesn’t make a rash decision about his Old Trafford future, amid interest from City, per FourFourTwo.
“He’s been really consistent —The thing with Kobbie is that he comes into the club every day, he applies himself really well. He’s never too high, never too low. He’s got quite an old head on his shoulders,” United’s under 21 coach said about Mainoo when speaking to The Athletic.
Mainoo needs to be patient and keep on doing what he is doing for the Red Devils in training and then hopefully, Ten Hag will give him his chance in midfield.